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The Ginger Man

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

67 Reviews
Reviews: 67
Visits: 111
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: n/a
Taps: 81
Bottles: 66
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

301 Lavaca St
Austin, Texas, 78701-3936
United States
phone: (512) 473-8801

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @austingingerman

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Reviews: 67 | Visits: 111
Photo of Geigespieler
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went here on a Friday night while in town for a conference at UT. The place was quite busy, but I found a spot at the bar and tried the roast beef sandwich and two beers: a local Alt and a local Braggot. Service was very attentive in spite of the crowd. Sandwich was very tasty, though the food options were somewhat limited. Beer selection was quite diverse and the two I tried were very nice. I was also offered samples of two other beers that I asked about. Unfortunately, the Austin Craft Beer Festival was starting the day I had to leave town, but I'm glad I was able to stop by. They only charged me for one beer and the sandwich and told me not to worry about it when I pointed this out (I left a nice tip). Will definitely be back next time I'm in town. (761 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place has a huge L shaped bar with a grey stone top and can easily seat about 20 or more patrons. Very dark interior as the lights are kept very low. Some dart boards line the walls, and there are a bunch of tables off the bar area. There is also an outdoor seating area where a bunch of people were taking their drinks.

They had to have about 80 beers on draft, so you will find something to your liking. I had several pints over two days, and each one was fresh as the beer seems to move here despite the large number of drafts.

The bartender was very friendly and prompt with her service. She also seemed to understand the styles she was serving. Only had an appetizer here which was good. This is a worthwhile stop in the downtown area. (749 characters)

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Austin is weird. They don't need any more damn shirts or signs saying "Keep Austin Weird" because it is already weird enough! Now I have that off my chest I can move on to the review.

This was my first visit to a Ginger Man and I must say I am impressed. 83 taps including a rotating cask selection, and I'm not sure how many bottles, but it was a lot.

The place is narrow with the bar running about half the length. Dark wood everywhere, 2 steel tip dart boards, one bar box pool table, not much interior seating. Very nice outdoor seating area with large picnic tables and trees for the grackles to make their sounds from.

The menu was lacking as far as selection goes. My wife and I shared a jumbo pretzel and spinach dip with tortilla chips. Nothing wrong with the food, but nothing great either.

The only service was at the bar, which kind of blew, but the tenders seemed reasonably knowing of the beers they carried and the last one I was served by made a nice suggestion.

All and all a great place to check out if you're in Austin, with the best selection of beer I saw in the area. (1,107 characters)

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Another beerfly in the category of "I can't believe that I haven't reviewed this place".

The Ginger Man is one of the top beer bars in Austin, no doubt about that. They have a very solid lineup of locals, seasonals, and imports. The bartenders all have been there a long time and are very knowledgeable. They have a beer tasting usually once a month that is well done.

Inside is a little small and cramped but they have a nice patio in the rear and a porch in the front that you can hang out and people watch if you want.

If the weather gets nasty, there is usually a line to get in because the place is so small. This is because of the fire code.

My homebrew club meets here once a month and I have to give them points for that. They are really cool about letting us bring in all our homebrew and taking over the back patio.

The food is above average. Pretty good selection of bar food. I had a roast beef sandwich on swiss with tasty french bread. Sandwich was warmed and it had a tasty horseradish sauce with it.

They are moving just down the street in a week or two but I'm sure they the quality of the place will stay the same. (1,140 characters)

Photo of miskatonic
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Spent a long weekend in Austin Recently and it seemed a no-brainer to go to the famed Ginger Man. All I can say is wow! Wow, wow, wow!!! As a New York City resident I am no stranger to the concept of the multi-draught-line beer bar, nor am I unfamiliar with a bar known to have a magnificent bottle selection, so I was holding high hopes when I visited here, and I was completely blown away by what I witnessed. The thing I like so much about the Austin location of the Ginger Man (and what I think the NYC location can take a lesson on) is their incredible selection of locally produced craft ales (often multiple selections from a single brewery), selections from Live Oak, Shiner, St Arnold, & Real Ale Brewing Co. dominated the selection of 39 american craft ales on draught. When you consider that US breweries represent 50% of the entire draught selection (something like 80 lines), you may agree that this is craft beer bar that favors the little guy over big Euro-breweries and their deep pockets (you listening NYC G.M.?). The remaining forty lines seem to be an evenly divided selection of German, British/Irish, and Belgian offerings of note (usually) and fine quality The bottle selection is also a lot more impressive with far more American selections than I remember seeing on the NYC list, and just a more well rounded selection in general. It's great to see a town like Austin (where American macros, Guiness, and Mexican Brew seem to dominate the bar/retail scene) support a major beer bar that should definitely be a vacation destination for all BA's and role model for beer bars across the US. (1,612 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I'm not the biggest fan of the ginger man in NYC, and I didn't know that their was three of these in Texas, but the Austin one was pretty awesome! Atmosphere is great, more small, with a hometown locals feel that the NYC one lacks. Dark wood all over the place with some nice booths, a good jukebox, and a small l shaped wooden bar. Service is standard friendly fare and selection is awesome, with quite a bottles list of micros and imports as well as damn-near-60 tap lines, with many local Texas micros on offer. The cask was St. Arnold Amber, which was nice, as was their IPA. The standout though was the live oak hefe, the best damn hefe in the world. Damn straight. A nice bar in a killer drinking/live music city... (721 characters)

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Have been making the drive up from San Antonio to hit this venue the last month or so and plan to continue doing so. It's very cozy and the staff is super friendly and very attentive. They always have some unique selections on draft and very reasonable prices, especially if you make it in for happy hour. I have not actually eaten there yet, but my rating is based of the minimal food menu for the time being, once I try something I may adjust that part of the review. So overall, great selection, great value, they have glass nights each week, beer tastings, and I am sure other events as well! (596 characters)

Photo of kcillini77
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I brought my family on a business trip to Austin and last night for Valentine's Day we managed to get a coworker to watch my son and we headed to downtown Austin. I sought this place out for drinks prior to dinner after reading about it here on BA. Once I walked in I realized I had been in this place once before during a recruiting trip 8 or 9 years ago, but that's another story. One note to consider - the parking area adjacent to the building was a private lot charging 7 bucks to park. Not knowing what else was available in the area we went ahead and paid, but you may want to look for on street parking elsewhere if you want more money for brews.

This is the type of place I would love to live near. I don't know what it's like late night, but early evening it had the laid back atmosphere of a coffee shop combined with wonderful beer, authentic (non electronic) dart boards, and a lounge area.

We happened to get there during their "Thursday Thirsty Thirty Minutes" where from 6-6:30 ALL draughts were $3.00. Belgians too. During our visit I worked on brews not available in my neck of the woods: Maredsous #8, Lagunitas IPA, Stone IPA, and a cask conditioned St. Arnold's Elissa.

Selection was great, and service was good. My only complaint was that with such a wide selection of beers and a handy up to date list there was no listing of ABV, and the bartender I spoke to had no idea what the ABV on the Maredsous was. I think it's kind of important to have that info available to aid in responsible drinking. Also, I saw lots of people drinking from authentic glassware - Duvel tulips and other varieties, but all of my orders were served to me in standard shaker pints. Not sure whether the glassware is bring your own or on request.

All in all a very enjoyable experience and I will definitely return next time I find myself in Austin. (1,855 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

This is my third G-man to visit (Houston & Dallas already). Next time I make it up north, I'll have to complete the circle and catch NYC.
This one doesn't have the converted house look and public house feel of the other two. Much more of a restaurant set up, but does have the classic G-man back porch area. Is pretty dark but had a nice bar and some couches and stuffed chairs to relax on. Went in after the Texas Craft Brewers Festival basically across the street. My palate was definitely fatigued by that point, but the beers seemed fresh and were served appropriately (so this IS a G-man). Was very happy to see St. Bernardus Abt 12 on tap and ordered one for my friend. BTW, a new habit I'm trying to pick up in beer bars, order for someone else, they order for you. Forces you out of routine. Anyway...
Service was a bit slow, but it was full swing Saturday night and the place was fairly full. Great selection, there were a lot of beers I would love to go back and try, and so I believe I will! If you are in Austin, this is the right area. Hit the G, and Bitter End around the corner, but that's another review.... (1,125 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Had been to the NYC location, so was stoked that there was one in Austin when I visited. I became a regular for the week I was in town.

80 taps, no crap. Lots of Texas beers, and a solid representation from the east and west, as well as the other prominent beer making nations. Koeninshoeven Quad was on at the time, and that pleased me greatly. Proper glassware and the beer was not overly cold.

Service was exceptional. Barkeeps, Ben especially, were friendly when they had the time to be, but were always there when needed, and never blinked when a sample was requested.

Atmosphere is a bit upscale, but very comfortable. Couches in some areas, in addition to more standard seating at the bar and tables, and a patio outback. Only 1 TV, and it was kind of banished to an out of the way corner of the bar. Strong focus on beer at the Ginger Man.

Didn't try the food. Prices were totally reasonable, especially on Tuesdays night when all Texas pints are $3. (965 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

I had one night to spend in Austin, and at the advice of the BeerFly guide, despite a heavy work schedule I ensured I made it to Gingerman, and I was happy I did. This was a great place to get a glimpse of the Texas craft brewing scene, both by scanning the beer menu and talking to the bartender and several very friendly and knowledgeable patrons.

When I approached, I was afraid the place might be closed, with the dim lighting and substantial wooden front doors shut tightly. Thankfully, it was not, and I entered a dark room witha long bar in front of me, and tables to the left. The bar was long and a substantial brass back-bar punctuated with taps stacked about three high. There were maybe 80 taps in total (+1 beer engine) with a great selection of local beers from St. Arnold, Live Oak, and Full Moon. Decor was of heavly varnished wood. I didn't find the place to be too smokey. I found a seat at the bar, saw a rye beer on the menu of interest (Full Moon Pale Rye), and got my beer right as the bar started to get really busy (particularly for a Tuesday). I started chatting with the guy on my right ("Tim") who was a resident and had an interest in Texas brewing. He and another patron ("Eric") chatted with me during the duration of my visit to Ginger Man had a couple of good beer recommendations, which made my visit very pleasant. The bartender was also pretty helpful and conversant with Tim, Eric, and I about local beers, particularly given how busy the place was.

Tuesday was "Texas beer night," so all my Texas brewery drafts were $3. I was impressed!

I was very happy with my visit to Ginger Man. (1,629 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Visited this place numerous times over a 3 day stop in Austin. This is unquestionably the best bar for craft beer in the city with what must have been 50 to 60 taps. There were some impressive selections, including numerous DFH beers not commonly found on tap.

The atmosphere was great, the service is friendly and the bartenders are all knowledgeable on the variouos offerings and more than willing to provide free samples.

The food was pretty good although the menu was somewhat lacking in selection.

If I am ever back in Austin, I will go out of my way to visit Ginger Man again. (587 characters)

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I made it a point to seek this place out on a recent visit to the area, mainly to seek out Live Oak's Hefeweizen.

The place had a cool Texas feel to it, lots of dark wood adorning the place with various beer paraphenelia all around. A few skylights with ceiling fans slowly turning above. The place had ample seating at the bar, at tables and some booths, also a few couches and easy chairs as well. They had a pool table and a jukebox, nice. Selection was awesome, one cask tap available, always nice to see. Service was pretty quick and the food was good, fresh though a bit uninspired, but the place is mainly about the beer anyway.

Definatly a must stop for a beer-lover in the area.

Slàinte! (708 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Had some time to kill on a slow afternoon, so I stopped in to the Ginger Man. I was the only person in the bar at first, and it slowly got more busy as the afternoon wore on. Very nice old school pub feel, with a long wall of taps. Good sized patio out back. Sat at the bar and enjoyed several offerings - nice selection of both local, micro, and imports. Bartenders were all very friendly and knowledgeable - they knew the beer and were willing to make suggestions and provide samples. Also had a couple cask offerings including a pecan porter that was very good.

I'll definitely be back on my next trip to Austin. (617 characters)

Photo of BeerHonky
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The Ginger Man has quite a name for itself already, so there isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said about what a great bar it is for the craft beer enthusiast. However, I initially went to the Ginger Man in New York not really know what to expect, and while it has a fantastic selection of beers, he crowd and atmosphere in New York kind of ruins it. But once I walked from my hotel down West 4th street, I knew I'd feel much more at home at this one. I think I spent 3 out of my 4 nights in Austin at this place. The selection is just awesome, especially for an out of towner. There was no way I was going to be able to try all the beers I had never had before by the time it was time for me to head back to NYC. The local crowd is so friendly and conversational as well. Great pub, period. (803 characters)

Photo of Redrover
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The new location is great and has the same feel and ambiance as the old one. Well Done!

** Orignal Review***
The Ginger Man is located on the north side of Fourth Street. It is easy to spot due to some great signage.

This is a great older building. Nice well-worn floors, a copper wall of taps, darts, a neat broken-in bar and some cool memorabilia add to the charm. Being in Austin, you knew they would play good tunes. Note they had a copy of the Beer Advocate Magazine on display behind the bar and they were lending it out for customers to view.

The bar seats about 20. There are plenty of booths to share. There is a bit of outside seating in front and a much larger area in back. They also have a lounge area with comfy chairs and couches located in the back. Nonsmoking, which is a huge plus.

The have a massive tap selection (85 per the bar tender) that the menu breaks out by color (dark, amber, pale) and then further by country of origin.

Note they also have a cask, which was offering St Arnolds Bourbon stout while I was there.

They also offer a ton of bottles. You really have to check the website to gauge the width and depth of their offerings.

I took advantage of the local Texas offerings, which I can’t get back in Chicago.

Food choices are limited, but I did enjoy the beer snack (3 types of cheese, sausage, pickles, olives & grapes). They offer sandwiches, some pizza and some sort of filled pastry thing. I think you will find enough to keep the beer munchies at bay.

Friendly locals and nice bartenders add up to an enjoyable place to visit. If I could recommend only one spot in this enjoyable town, this is the one I would choose. (1,673 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

There’s over 40 beers on tap here by my estimation, including two on hand-pump. Located near the heart of downtown Austin, it has that vibe somewhere between a downtown afterwork hangout (at least, on the day I visited there were waves of happy hour haunters coming in) and hip beer geek hangout (until it got crowded I enjoyed sitting next to some fellow craft beer enthusiasts and musing poetically about hoppy brew).
The physical space is dark, quiet during the daytime but quickly turns lively. Lots of local options and a staff that was busy but didn’t ignore me when I was ready for another. (602 characters)

Photo of BgThang
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

For an awesome selection of brews in austin especially the local ones this is the place to get them.
The outside area in the back is descent if you can find a table without bird poop on it to sit down.
The staff there is pretty knowledgeable about their beers.
They always have cask elissa IPA there. only place in town
can get crowded on a fri or sat night.
To the point where theres a line out the door to get in.
due to fire code and maximum capacity especially on cold nights.

iF YOUR IN AUSTIN THIS IS A MUST TO VISIT (523 characters)

Photo of DanE
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I have been here twice now while on business. A great place to belly up, many passionate beer drinkers. Awesome outside area as well. Very interesting and eclectic layout. Has the ole modernized 18th century style English pub look. Two hearted, sculpin, liefmans Flanders, 60min/ 90min, Hoptimum etc... A handful of locals. A must go if staying in downtown or south Austin. (373 characters)

Photo of LiquidSnake
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I went to the Ginger Man with my Ole' Lady, she was thirsty like a viking. We had New Belgium 1554 and I had the Avery Kaiser on draft. , and both poured wonderfully. We went on a thursday afternoon, and we missed the happy hour by minutes. The drinks were smooth and memorable. We ended up sitting outdoors, but there was a lively crowd of beer drinkers so we didn't mind much. My Ole Lady was ravenous, she wanted more suds, I wanted more rauchbiers, we settled by splitting a cheese plate and and a Deschutes Black Butte Porter(highly recommended) I like this place. It's where a man can not only wet his whistle, but get his whistle wetted. Might I recommend having a cold one outdoors, because thats were the lively conversation begins, and the debauchery reigns. I recommend this bar, for the service, selection, value, and good times. Make mine a Rauch (859 characters)

Photo of TheBCrew
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Visited this twice while in Austin for the memorial day weekend with some friends. We went mid-afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday and it was relatively quiet both times. The bar is made of old railroad tracks and there are some booths as well as couches and tables scattered about. There's a pool table with $1 plays and free dart boards (bring your own darts). Older looking building with high ceilings, a lot of big vintage beer posters and a huge display of old beer cans.

They have an impressive selection, both bottles and on tap, with a lot of locals. They also have the Elissa IPA on cask (St. Arnold brewery in Houston) which we had and it was great. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable enough to make a recommendation if you're indecisive. We went for lunch on Saturday which was our mistake as they don't have a kitchen, just a toaster oven, so grab some food elsewhere before coming here. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and got to try a lot of great beers that aren't available in our area (St. Arnold, Live Oak and Independence to name a few). (1,064 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Of all of the bars that I visited while in Austin, I think I spent the most time at the Ginger Man. Not because they have a hundred taps or whatever, but because the people there seemed interested in beer! The servers were friendly and knew what they were talking about - not as much as me, but hey, who does? And at least they weren't just repeating a memorized list of beers on tap, or spouting off half-truths about the brewing process (as so many brewpub employees seem to do).

That said, the building is an interesting, beautiful old industrial brick A-frame on an odd street with no sidewalk. I'm sure there's some great history about that, but I don't know it. There's a small area out front though because of that, and I had a good time hanging at a table with a bunch of locals and Eddie Stoudt from PA one night.

Inside there's a blocky wood bar, wood floors, wood panel, black "industrial" lamps, dark leather chairs in cozy corners, tin-cut lights, and "Edison-reproduction" lightbulbs in minimalist retro chandeliers. Think Pottery Barn, but dark, and real. The little comfortable relaxation areas they have are very nice though. They have sofas and leather chairs and reading lamps. It's so much more welcoming than New York where I'd first seen this type of atmosphere, and that's Austin!

What else? Oh, the beer, yes. They have a handpump that sees a lot of action! And a wall full of taps that seem to move quickly. The bottled beer selection is fairly average stuff, but they do cover the whole world with it (Red Stripe, Cooper's Sparkling Ale, McEwan's Scotch Ale, Tsingtao, Labatt's Blue). Some highlights from the draft selection during my visit: Grottenbier Brown, Live Oak Big Bark, St. Arnold Elissa IPA, Meantime IPA, New Belgium Mothership Wit, Blanche de Bruxelles.

They also have wine and cider, which can be good if there's someone in your group who's absolutely unwilling to try beer (think cratchety old grandmas); and a limited selection of foods (sandwiches, pizza, cheese plate).

So, in conclusion, I'd say that although it can sometimes get a bit of a college crowd (and anywhere in Austin will), if I only had time to visit one place I'd make the Ginger man my destination. Well worth a visit! (2,247 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Was visiting Austin and as always have to find my way to one of the local beer spots. BA pointed me towards The Ginger Man.

Very cool dark feel inside. Once you walk in there is a rectangular bar that is narrow and extends for a way towards the back of the building. Near the entrance there is a nice living room like area with some couches a couple of TVs and some books plus some cool bear-themed decorations.

The selection and quality were good as far as I could tell. A decent amount of locals with some of the more readily available crafts like Blvd, Chimay, etc.

The atmosphere was chill, warm and inviting. I would definitely frequent this place if I lived here.

They have a bear garden and more wide seating areas at the back of the building but I stayed near the front for the most part. (801 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Made a quick stop downtown on my way to Rainey Street to check out the Ginger Man. Atmosphere was pretty solid, only a few people inside at the bar while the rest were out back enjoying the nice weather. Quality was pretty high, nice building inside and out and the beers were all served in correct glasses. Service was good, had to wait a bit for my bill but they were just starting an event and it was becoming a bit hectic. Selection was pretty good, beers from all over the world as well as plenty from TX. Prices were on par with all of the other bars I visited in the area. Overall an awesome beer bar in the heart of the city, I would definitely return if I am ever in the area again. (691 characters)

Photo of jamescain
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've only been here once, but I enjoyed my experience. If not for the fact that Austin has so many other choices, I would probably stop by more often. My only complaint, and this has nothing to do with the establishment, is that because they are located downtown, parking can be difficult depending on time of day. I didn't try the food but it looked good. They have a very good selection of beers, but are slightly pricier than other locations around the city. The atmosphere was relaxing and enjoyable, with low lighting and music in the background, rather the foreground. The bar tenders are quick to serve you and seem knowledgeable about beer. I wouldn't say it's a must stop in Austin, but if you're staying downtown, it as a great spot to find a good or local beer. (772 characters)

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The Ginger Man in Austin, TX
94 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.